Postion Summary:
This key team member will take the lead in the formulation and implementation of system-wide policies to maximize the system’s effectiveness and ISO 14721 compliance, and will be responsible for ensuring the security of the system and of the information residing on it. She/he will also assist the team lead in selecting and implementing support for data ingest, storage and dissemination protocols. Their key focus will be on the SAPRI and marine based infrastructure but will support SAEON wide systems administration.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Provide the highest reliability (uptime) and responsiveness of service in the Linux servers and LAN
  • Implement monitoring software to warn of impending infrastructure issues and take appropriate remedial action
  • Ensure adequate provision of backup and failover facilities
  • Testing of backups in accordance with industry best practices
  • Select, procure and install hardware and software to improve the Linux systems’ reliability, responsiveness, and scientific utility
  • Provide robust technical advice on the configuration and support of system components and services
  • Conduct forward planning and contribute to the SAEON and SAPRI and other research infrastructure roadmaps
  • Maintain a blueprint of infrastructure and configurations
  • Work with the SAEON Systems Coordinator to ensure that LIVE and TEST copies of all major systems are maintained, available, and under configuration control
  • Proactively manage these systems and design them for future needs with assistance from the information management team
  • Maintain business continuity information on a designated external server(s) to assist with disaster recovery
  • Ensure that system logs are monitored and that anomalies are detected and responded to in a timely fashion
  • Provide regular reporting to team leads and senior management on the status of the system
  • Work with the SAEON Network Engineer to ensure policy compliance and security provision
  • Lead and assist in the development of information systems policies and their implementation
  • Provide support to scientists utilizing the system, in particular ocean modelers
  • Develop standard procedures and document knowledge as required for transfer of duties to an external party

Minimum Qualification:

  • Bachelors Degree / Advanced Diploma / NQF 7

Minimum Experience:

  • 5-7 years
  • A minimum of a BSc in Computer Science and 5 years’ relevant experience, or Bachelor’s Degree or diploma in Computer Science with 5 years relevant experience and at least 5 years work experience in a relevant field
  • Linux system administration – essential: familiarity with build, configuration and deployment of RHEL or Fedora or CentOS systems
  • Familiarity with other distributions such as Ubuntu a plus
  • Familiarity with network configuration and administration including BIND and DHCP
  • Knowledge of and experience with managing secure system firewalls


  • Experience installing and tweaking, and occasionally building from source, a variety of software packages required to support mission
  • Experience with make, yum, rpm
  • Experience implementing onsite virtualization (e
  • g
  • Proxmox, kvm)
  • Experience with XML, HTML and web servers – Apache, Tomcat; creating websites and web pages
  • Experience with implementing and managing a wiki (Twiki or similar)


  • Knowledge of good system security practices and common packages (ossec, Nagios, tripwire) and ability to implement these
  • UNIX shell scripting – bash, sh, csh, cron, and similar utilities

Additional Notes:
Ability to contribute to devising and implementing policy for backup and failover [URL Removed] NRF website provides more details on the initiatives and activities
Applicants should submit a comprehensive CV by registering and apply online through the NRF Recruitment and Selection Portal.
Applications should be accompanied by a letter of motivation indicating the applicant·s suitability for the position.
The names and contact details of at least three referees should be provided.

Desired Skills:

  • Skilled in applied field of position
  • Knowledge to be relevant
  • Responsible in performing duties

About The Employer:

The South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON) is a research platform funded by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and managed by the National Research Foundation (NRF).
SAEON is mandated to establish and manage long-term environmental observatories; maintain reliable long-term environmental data sets; promote access to data for research and/or informed decision making; and contribute to capacity building. This position is supported by the DSI’s South African Polar Research Infrastructure (SAPRI) programme.

Learn more/Apply for this position